Which ID Card Size Is Right for You?

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Did you even know there were different card sizes?

This key difference commonly goes under the radar but is critical to getting your card just right. Size is an important factor in printing cards for specific purposes, as well as in determining which printer or system is the right fit for your organization.

Today, we’ll look at the most common ID card sizes, as well as their typical uses, so you can better decide which one is right for you.

 

Standard Size – Credit Card

The standard size for ID cards is about the size of a credit card, or in measurements: 2 1/8" x 3 3/8". It’s most widely used for photo ID cards in workplaces and schools, access control, time and attendance tracking, library cards, membership cards, reward and loyalty cards, gift cards, and more.

 

Key Card

Key cards are typically 2" x 1" and have a circle punch that allows them to slide onto key rings. They’re commonly used for reward and loyalty cards (think: gas stations, fast food restaurants, grocery stores, etc.), but have many other uses as well.

 

Event Badge

Event badges run a bit larger than standard size at 4" x 3". They’re great because they offer better visibility at events such as concerts, sporting events, conferences, conventions, tradeshows, and more. They’re easily seen from farther distances and have more space to accommodate a unique design or logo for the event.

 

Government Card

Government cards also run a bit larger than standard size, though they’re not as large as an event badge. At 2 5/8" x 3 7/8", these cards are typically used for military personnel and other government institutions so badges can be seen from a distance.

 

Also Important: A Card’s Thickness

Also included in ID card size is the card thickness. Standard thickness for ID cards is 30 mil, or 0.030 inches. They’re thick enough to be durable and sturdy, yet thin enough to fit into access swipe pads.

Thinner cards are typically 10 mil thick, which make them more malleable than a 30-mil card. Since they’re more flexible, they’re also more susceptible to wear and tear; however, they’re great cards for temporary or light use. They’re most commonly used for hotel key cards, visitor badges, business cards, and more.

 

Looking to Buy?

The most common ID card size is the credit-card size in 30 mil thickness. Most every ID card printer and ID card software is designed to accommodate this size. However, not every printer can print other, less common, card sizes. It’s important to learn the sizes and capabilities of each printer when you’re shopping around.


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